Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $1,655,375)
The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110-180 ("NICS Improvement Act"), was signed into law by the President on January 8, 2008. The NICS Improvement Act amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 ("the Brady Act") (Pub. L. 103-159), under which the Attorney General established the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The Brady Act requires Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to contact the NICS before transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person for information on whether the proposed transferee is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm under state or federal law. The NICS Improvement Act authorizes grants to be made in a manner consistent with the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP).
Under the 2017 NARIP priority areas, the NYS, Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), will administer two projects: 1) Office of Court Administration (OCA) and State Repository Criminal History Record Improvement Project and 2) Improving Reporting for Mental Health Record Submission to NICS.
OCA and State Repository Improvement Project: two tasks under this project: 1) Streamlining the processes for opening and vacating open warrants by the courts to create a single, statewide warrants repository (SWR) that will electronically transmit data to the NYS Wanted File in real-time and auto-populate the majority of data manually entered by law enforcement agencies (LEAs). Currently, there is no automated data-transmission mechanism between the courts systems and the NYS Wanted File for 57 of the 62 counties in NYS. The NYS Wanted File is the sole source for the transmission of the wanted data into the NCIC. The streamlining will eliminate the current process of having the court papers delivered to the LEAs and then subsequently entered by the LEAs into the NYS Wanted File. The data entered into the court systems will be transmitted to the NYS Wanted File in real-time. At the same time, the LEAs will receive notification that a new warrant record has been created so that they can immediately complete the record with the additional information needed to trigger its transmission to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). 2) The OCA and DCJA will continue to reconcile and prevent open arrests by extending the new disposition codes for use in courts outside of NYC. The new codes will help identify and close undocketed arrests that are over two years old with no activity. There are approximately 200,000 such arrests that fall in this category.
Improving Mental Health Record Reporting to NICS: Due to the current reporting mechanisms used for both the NYS Safe Act and NICS, there is redundant entry required by the hospital staff. As a result, data quality is at risk due to the manual and time-consuming process. The DOH will work with OMH to continue to maintain and enhance the existing NICS reporting system to improve the quality and accuracy of NICS reports submitted by general hospitals. DOH and OMH will work toward streamlining data reporting by developing a new reporting stream to support NYS Safe Act Reporting to synchronize these reporting streams and processes through automation. This will enable the various mental health reporting streams to be transmitted in a single, automated fashion which will improve compliance and timeliness of NICS data reporting while reducing errors, duplicity and omissions. In addition, updated training sessions will be delivered to hospitals that submit data to the NICS.
DCJS will support a NICS Improvement Task Force to continue to strategize, prioritize and govern NICS initiatives with the goal of facilitating development of short-term and lone-term improvement plans. No NARIP funding is requested for the Task Force.